The Netflix Report

Movie reviews from my Netflix queue. Highly personal and opinionated!

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Monday, April 17, 2006

The Machinist

Wow. This is Hitchcock meets The Twilight Zone.

Christian Bale lost a truly alarming amount of weight to play the cadaverous haunted victim of a solid year of insomnia. He is slipping into a dark world of paranoia and uncertainty as events and people keep affecting his life in episodes that seem alternately real and dreamlike. You've seen the concept before... Are we watching reality or the main character's altered perceptions?... But this is a very well made version of the genre.

The music is quite good. There is a lot of Bernard Herrmann Hitchcock influences. The film color is mostly washed out and lifeless, much like the main character. Bale turns in a riveting acting performance, quite apart from his shocking physical appearance. I was very caught up in the story, which takes its own sweet time in developing. But things do come together and early patience is rewarded with a real conclusion that ties things together.

This is adult viewing only -- no kids allowed. There is graphic violence, partial nudity, and a nightmarish feel. It is NOT a David Lynch kind of "film a dream fugue and let the audience guess what I meant" - although in the middle of the movie I thought it was going that way. Recommended.

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